extremely long pause in blogging (which is pretty much a norm by now) here I am
ready to share my thoughts with my esteemed readers (I sincerely hope someone
is reading this).
I gave it
some serious thought before I decided what my next topic will be. Well, not
really if I’m completely honest. I have wanted to write a piece on him for a
very long time but I was too afraid. Afraid not to do him justice, afraid to be
too clumsy with words, afraid to be too biased.
sat down and thought, ‘What would he say if he saw me so hesitant and self
conscious?’ He who has had to go through many things in the last few years with
my beloved football club. And all of a sudden I felt ashamed of my shyness and
insecurity. He deserves to be spoken and written about. And if people like me
who have immeasurable amount of respect and affection for this man won’t write
or talk about this man then who will?
I’m sure there
are journalists and experienced bloggers who would do a much better job than me
but this piece is coming from my heart. Many emotions are triggered inside me
when I hear his name. Just as my heart beats slightly faster when I talk about
Arsenal Football Club. And in that respect, he and I are very much alike.
Arsenal for both of us is not just a club; it’s an integral part of who we are.
As some of you
already know he brought me to The Arsenal, he made me a Gooner without even
knowing it. Back in the summer of 1999 as I was travelling I picked a sports
magazine at the airport and there he was being interviewed. There was so much
passion in his words towards football, towards Arsenal. I remember reading and
getting excited as a kid on Christmas Day as well as intrigued by every word. I
had very little knowledge or interest in the English league at that time but
that changed drastically after I finished reading that article. I just had to
see him in action. Had to see a club whose manager has such a deep
understanding and vision of the game I have loved and followed since a fragile
age of six.
As the story goes
that was a beginning of a lifelong romance. First game I watched was our Derby
County away 2-1 win. Those 90 minutes flew by as I watched and carefully
studied a team that would go on to make history and that would shamelessly
march into my heart without any intention to leave any time in my existence. 14
years later here I am. Still very much in love. Still excited about every
single game we play. Still dreaming about walking into that beauty of a
history shows that it has been a proper challenge for him. There are so many
speculations roaming around and reaching ridiculous levels at times with the
introduction and blossoming of social media that I do wonder occasionally how
thick one’s skin has to be. Eight years without the trophy for £7.5-a-year.
Stubborn. Narrow minded. Too much power in his hands. He has lost the plot.
Just a few sentiments being expressed amongst fellow Arsenal supporters. With
the opposition side echoing their own beliefs. He had no money. 16 seasons of
top-four finishes. 13 consecutive Champions League qualifications. Invincibles.
He could have gone anywhere but he stayed loyal.
I sincerely believe
that both sides have a point. But that is only natural. He is after all a human
being. With his flaws and mistakes and wrong decisions. That perfectly well
coexist with his philosophy, beliefs and our beautiful football that he has
promoted from day one.
going through some photos recently and one thing is striking. How much he has
aged physically. He gives his all, emotions laid bare every single second of
every single minute of every single day. I seriously worry for his health at
times just as I admire and pity his family because I’m pretty sure they would
be thrilled to see more of him.
glance at photos and you see a rather old man. Until you look at his eyes. And
that’s when you know there is still so much fire burning inside him. The naughty
smirks we love so much, the spark, the life, the plans, the hopes, the future.
It is all there. And I don’t know about you, but I would love to see what he’s
got in store for us.
torturous summers of departures, betrayals and pain this year I sincerely
believe that the tables have turned. Not a single major player left the club.
And a big signing we’ve all waited so long for happened. And that signing makes
no secret of the fact that it was he who managed to convince that signing to
join the club. It was his vision and his perspective, his future plans. Well if
that strategy is good for Mesut Ozil to play for The Arsenal excuse me for
being super excited about our prospects.
signing definitely doesn’t cross out poor transfer window business in previous
years. No, that signing doesn’t cross out poor decisions made on the managerial
level as well as the ownership one. But that signing gives me hope. It puts a
massive smile on my face and it makes me look forward to tomorrow so much.
big wins. Here’s to trophies. Here’s to dressing room happiness. Here’s to the
boys that stayed. Here’s to him. Because no matter what you think of him he
never gave anyone a reason to doubt his love and passion for the club that is
an integral part of whom we all are. He cares. He’s been looking into the
future for a very long time and it seems he is finally making us see the light.
I hope he is here when it shines on us in full force.
Arsenal birthday Boss. Sweet 17 🙂